Great Dane Throwing Up Blood: Why + What You Need Do

A Great Dane throwing up blood is a frightening sight. Yes, it is common for Great Danes to vomit once in a while but the appearance of blood is not.

Great Danes can sometimes throw up white foam, clear liquid, yellow form, mucus, bile, or after eating or drinking.

The question is, why does a Great Dane throw up blood? 

In this article, we’ll cover the reasons behind a Great Dane throwing up blood and what to do about it.

A Great Dane throwing up blood, also known as hematemesis, occurs due to a variety of reasons, the most common reason being diseases and conditions that corrode the stomach lining exposing the blood vessels leading to gastrointestinal hemorrhage and throwing up of blood. 

These conditions include inflammation of the stomach lining, ulcers, a reaction to drugs especially nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) which are drugs used to reduce inflammation, high temperature, and relieve pain.

The vomit can come out as bright red blood or in partially digested blood that is in clots and brown.

The other most likely causes for a Great Dane throwing up blood include:

  • Gastrointestinal cancer
  • Inflammatory bowel syndrome
  • Infections ( Parvovirus)
  • Toxin ingestion
  • Poisoning (toxic plants, pesticides, lead or iron, snakebites)
  • Kidney and liver disease
  • Gastrointestinal obstruction
  • Shock
  • Addison’s Syndrome
  • Stomach or esophagus tumors
  • Vigorous throwing up
  • Coagulopathy (lack of proper clotting)

Sometimes throwing up blood can be due to a Great Dane having a respiratory problem that results in coughing up blood which they swallow and then vomit. 

In other cases, a Great Dane may also have a dental problem or mouth sores that bleed, which may be mistaken for throwing up blood.

Critically ill Great Danes are more susceptible to throwing up blood as well as puppies that have not yet had their parvovirus vaccination. 

great dane throwing up blood

Should I Be Worried If My Great Dane is Throwing Up Blood

A Great Dane throwing up blood at any point is a cause for concern because it is a clear sign of a serious underlying problem that requires immediate medical attention. 

A Great Dane may also have other symptoms in addition to this which include abdominal pain, lack of an appetite, fever, shock, weakness, pale gums, a low heart rate, and diarrhea tinted with blood.

Related: Great Dane throwing up and diarrhea

What To Do If Your Great Dane is Throwing Up Blood

A Great Dane throwing up blood should be treated as an emergency that requires a veterinarian to examine your dog.

When your Great Dane vomits blood in whichever form, that is either little spots of blood, fresh or brown, small or large volume of blood, do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian.

The veterinarian will conduct a full physical examination, analyze your dog’s medical history, and ask you about the circumstances leading up to the vomiting.

This includes your Great Dane’s recent intake of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, vaccinations, other symptoms, evidence of ingestion of toxins around the home, or possible traumas that could have led to internal bleeding.

Also, various diagnostic tests will be conducted to uncover the underlying cause of the vomiting

Treatment

A Great Dane will first be given an anti-nausea medication to control and intravenous fluids to manage dehydration and shock from loss of electrolytes caused by the vomiting.

If the case is severe and your Great Dane lost a lot of blood, they will be given a blood transfusion to treat anemia. They may be hospitalized for monitoring of their condition.  

The treatment will depend on the test results which help in the diagnosis of the cause of the bleeding and vomiting of blood. 

Infections will be treated, antacids will be provided if ulcers are present, the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) will be discontinued, and activated charcoal provided for possible poisoning.  

A bland diet consisting of boiled chicken and white rice will be recommended to help the stomach to calm down and heal.

How To Prevent Your Great Dane From Throwing Up Blood

A Great Dane will throw up in their lifetime and some circumstances are beyond our control such as the sudden onset of nausea, reaction to a drug or disease, however, some measures can be implemented to prevent a Great Dane from throwing up blood. 

This includes:

Health check-ups

Health checkups for your Great Dane are important in checking their health status and early diagnosis of any diseases.

This helps to prevent and/or manage conditions that may lead a Great Dane to vomit blood. Therefore have regular checkups for your Great Dane.

Prevent access to potential toxins

Household products, chemicals, and plants can be toxins to a Great Dane when ingested. 

Keep these products away where your Great cannot have access to them and prevent them from eating plants that may be harmful.

Diet change

A low fiber, low-fat diet is best for a Great Dane with liver disease which is among the reasons why a Great Dane may vomit blood. 

Generally, diet plays a big role in a Great Dane’s health therefore feed them the right healthy diet they require depending on their age, and health status, guided by your veterinarian.

Vaccination for puppies

Puppies that have not yet been fully vaccinated for parvovirus are susceptible to infection and throwing up of blood due to the infection if they get it.

To prevent this, ensure that your puppy is vaccinated and you keep up with the scheduled appointments.

Summary

Throwing up is common in Great Danes and other dog breeds however it should not be ignored because sometimes it is caused by a serious underlying problem. 

A Great Dane throwing up blood is a cause of concern and as should be immediately attended to by seeking medical attention.

Always consult with your veterinarian about your Great Dane vomiting so that an early diagnosis can be made and your Great Dane treated to prevent fatal outcomes.

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Patricia Williams

Patricia Williams

Patricia Williams is a writer, mum, and animal lover with extensive experience with dogs. She loves talking about animal advocacy and care. She lives with 4 German Shepherds and 1 cat.